The National Workshop on ‘Reservation Policy in India in the Light of the Changing Parameters’ organized by the Interdisciplinary Center for Social Justice took place at the National University of Advanced Legal Studies on February 27, 2019. Prof. Dr. C.Basava Raju, Dean of Faculty of Law of University of Mysore delivered the Keynote Address at the Inaugural Ceremony. He delved into the topic of reservation for the poorest of the poor and supplemented his address with the research that he undertook on ‘Social Justice with Special Reference to Weaker Sections’. The workshop comprised of two technical sessions. First session was on ‘Reservation Policy in India and Reservation Based on Economic Criteria’ and was chaired by Prof. Dr. M C. Valson. The resource persons for this session were Prof. Dr. D. Rajeev, Former Director of School of Legal Studies,CUSAT, Dr. Gireesh Kumar, Head of Department of Law, Central University of Kerala and Adv. Sriram Parakat, Advocate on Record, Supreme Court of India.
Dr. Gireesh Kumar opined that economic backwardness cannot be the sole criteria for providing reservation and stated that the same is not synonymous with social backwardness. Adv. Sriram Parakat overviewed the landmark judgements of the Supreme Court concerning the quantum and criteria of reservation.
The second session was on the topic “Reservation vis-à-vis Meritocracy: Beneficiaries and Losers” It was chaired by Prof. Dr. V.R. Jayadevan and the resource persons for the session were Sri. Sunny M Kappikad, writer and activist and Adv. K Shantha Kumari, President of Palakkad District Panchayat. Sunny Kappikad remarked that the lack of understanding of the history has led to a flawed understanding of the objectives of reservation. He opined that the social order was inherently against justice and equality and reservation was the legal assurance to achieve the same in India. Adv. K Shantha Kumari raised concerns of increasing privatization in government-controlled entities in light of representation of socially backward classes, women and transgenders.
Additional Sessions and District Judge Sri Biju Menon K delivered the valedictory address. The session saw active participation from student of various institutions.